• Murder by Matchlight

  • By: E.C.R. Lorac
  • Narrated by: Mark Elstob
  • Length: 6 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (101 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

London, 1945. The capital is shrouded in the darkness of the blackout, and mystery abounds in the parks after dusk. During a stroll through Regent's Park, Bruce Mallaig witnesses two men acting suspiciously around a footbridge. In a matter of moments, one of them has been murdered; Mallaig's view of the assailant but a brief glimpse of a ghastly face in the glow of a struck match. 

The murderer's noiseless approach and escape seems to defy all logic, and even the victim's identity is quickly thrown into uncertainty. Lorac's shrewd yet personable C.I.D. man, MacDonald, must set to work once again to unravel this near-impossible mystery.

©2018 The Estate of E. C. R. Lorac (P)2019 Soundings

What listeners say about Murder by Matchlight

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Engaging Mystery Set in Blacked-out London 1940s

Downloaded this to divert me during household chores, having exhausted the Agatha Christie oeuvre. Well written and crafted, yes, and you rarely forget that the plot consists of puzzle pieces intended to throw you off.

What really stands out are the details of life during wartime London, and the engrossing descriptions of blacked-out nighttime: Artillery in Hyde Park, the utter darkness of the streets, the nervy chitchat in the air raid shelters, the bombed out streets — all written with a persuasive sense of immediacy and authenticity.

The narrator was very good, although a bit over-the- top with some of the more over-the-top characters (music hall performers who are suspects in the murder).

Overall, an engaging classic-style British mystery with the great bonus of the wartime details.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing

Great book. Great characters. Wish there were more. Why can’t there be more modern stories like this. Not everything has to CSI this or that

3 people found this helpful

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Not Bad

You have to be in the mood for these stories and maybe I wasn't. It has an interesting plot and setting and it can be intriguing but I was not disappointed when it ended. If you're into Golden Age English Mysteries ECR Lorac is definitely a must listen as she was one of the professionals of the genre and doesn't write down to the reader.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderfully plotted, superbly narrated

An intelligently planned story, full of distinct characters, and read by one of the very best narrators I've ever heard.
Even though the book was written in the 1940's, it doesn't seem dated at all. Would love to hear more from this
author and this narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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top drawer characters

the complex background and variety of characters keep you thought bound. WWII life very real.

2 people found this helpful

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Good story, bad match

I have been enjoying the Lorac novels that have been recorded. I was disappointed in the nasal drawl that this narrator decided upon for MacDonald. Not a trace of the empathetic Scot in this characterization. Since his other characterizations were quite good, I stuck with it.
As for the story, aside from the mystery itself, I found the descriptions of wartime London vividly revealing. Here’s hoping more of her books will be recorded. Preferably with Kris Dyer.

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Wartime London

Macdonald and friends investigate the death of a wastrel. The witnesses saw glimpses when a match was lit during the blackout. Lots of red herrings and good characters, well performed. Highly recommended.

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A good listen!

This is one of my favorites by Lorac. The book kept my interest throughout with a nice pace. Characters were very interesting and well developed. The book kept me guessing on who the murderer was with its interesting twists and turns. The narrator did a fine job bringing the characters to life which made listening to the book a pleasure. I’m hooked on Lorac and have been searching for more of her books on audible.

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  • Anna C.
  • 03-10-22

Interesting story, well read

This is my second audiobook from Lorac. I enjoyed this one much more. The story is more thought out and the reader makes it easy to follow along. Such a delight.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs. M. J. Sykes
  • 02-20-20

Excellent period crime story

Thoroughly enjoyed this recording : well drawn characters, effective atmosphere, an interesting problem and very well narrated .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-22-19

What a waste of money

Tried to get this on Audible and when this failed, whisper sync. I'm sure the book is great, but all that down loaded was the introduction. Spent 1 credit for nothing!

1 person found this helpful